Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
TCH-Rob

Google Does Flash

Recommended Posts

Got an email and I had to go look. Now according to Google they support .swf. The problem with Flash is no text. Without that text, the search engines have nothing to index. Now if your flash site has text involved it looks like Google can extract it.

 

Should make things a bit interesting now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damnn... This move puts Google ahead in the search engines even further, because now they'll be able to index all of those flash websites. And it'll also make web designers a little more liberal in regards to that.

 

Won't have as many people afraid to make an all-flash website anymore. Yahoo! and MSN need to get this going ASAP to keep up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Won't have as many people afraid to make an all-flash website anymore.

Oh boy. I can't wait. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just remember though, it only helps if you have text embedded in the flash like you would any other web page. You still want to be aware of density and everything else that a non flash site needs as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Won't have as many people afraid to make an all-flash website anymore.
If they value their money and visitors, they won't do that.

 

I'm not sure about the details but I know that there are (or they're waiting to be approved) some laws that force the owner of a website to make sure it is accessible to everyone (the famous Section 508).

 

On top of that, there's the fact that there are people who simply are not able to see Flash animations. Either because they chose so or because the browser they use does not provide that capability (like text browsers for the blind).

 

So making all-Flash websites is still a bad idea :(

 

Oh, and besides these, there's the fact that Flash sites are simply a PITA :)

I hate it when I see a section of a website that I want to bookmark but then I can only bookmark the entire site, because it's all made in Flash instead of separate HTML files ;)

Edited by TCH-Raul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate flash mostly. :)

 

Not all of it though. If a small part of a site is flash (like banner size), then ok, but if its a whole site or a huge intro that takes looooooong time to start, I tend to leave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure about the details but I know that there are (or they're waiting to be approved) some laws that force the owner of a website to make sure it is accessible to everyone (the famous Section 508).
I would like to see that law enforced.

 

Section 508 is a federal law for federal companies to follow.

 

The purpose of this part is to implement section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d). Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, Federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. Section 508 also requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from a Federal agency, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency.

 

This section does not affect public web sites.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you sure, Rob? I know I've read somewhere that just to be on the safe side, you should follow section 508 rules, because if someone with a disability was not able to visit your site, he/she could sue you. :huh:

 

But perhaps that only applies to certain types of websites, like public services, and stuff. Or even just federal companies, as you say. I don't know :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
because if someone with a disability was not able to visit your site, he/she could sue you

They have an article about it the latest issue in Swedish Internetworld.

There they say that public services have to follow section 508, but companies (esp online business) follows it more and more too, since they as many swedish sites have found out, they loose potential customers. Since (at least here) more and more disabled people do more and more shopping on the internet it would be crazy from a online store owner to loose potential customers.

 

To translate a quote from this article

"If you build a house, you want someone to visit you. If you make the door too small, not many can visit you".

Edited by Jikrantz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like your point Thomas. In many cases, voluntary efforts toward accessibility are going to yield better results than forced compliance. Still, some of the larger companies don’t get it, and we are starting to see some enforcement in the USA under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The New York Attorney General just ruled that the Ramada.com and Priceline.com websites were places of public accommodation and subject to ADA requirements. Both companies agreed to make their sites accessible to blind and visually impaired users, and they will pay “investigation fees” of $40,000 and $37,500, respectively:

www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2004/aug/aug19a_04.html

 

HTH,

Carol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also agree that making a site accessible voluntarily will result in a better site than if the accessibility is forced but, as you said, Carol, many companies still don't get the whole point behind accessible web content. Hopefully someday there won't be any need for "investigation fees" or other sanctions because of inaccessible web content but until then, we'll keep seing all-flash websites and other nasty things :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raul,

 

http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Content&ID=12

 

Whose sites must comply?

Federal departments and agencies (including the U.S. Postal service).

Deliverables from contractors who serve them.

Activities sponsored or funded by the Federal government.

Activities sponsored by states that have adopted the regulation.

 

http://www.happycog.com/lectures/access/5.html

 

By the way. I am all for making sites accessible, even my site though I am not sure how well a visually impared person would fare with a katana unless he is Zatoichi, but how do you enforce ths on a movie clip site or a site about an artists work?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the links, Rob.

 

And yes, of course there are sites that I think are impossible to make accessible - or even pointless, as the movie clipe site example you mentioned.

 

In the end, it's just a matter of trying our best to make our websites as accessible as possible for people with disabilities. We all gain something with it :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wonder how long before "private sector" sites are required to be accessible. Probably not here in the United States since we value our freedom of expression above almost everything else, but what about other countries?

 

It's obviously a good thing to make our sites accessible anyway and the only ones who would gripe about it are us Americans because we don't want someone telling us what we have to do.

 

Personally? I'd hang bowling balls at face level from strings in my store and have an audio only warning about the trapped floor that sets them swinging. That way we get the visually and hearing impaired at the same time. (I'm kidding! I have a great empathy with impaired folks. The fact that my first real girlfriend who I was with for 4 years was totally deaf and that I write books about sign language shows how I really feel about it. I'm all for making it easier for them to have the same access and abilities as those without limitations do!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Personally? I'd hang bowling balls at face level from strings in my store and have an audio only warning about the trapped floor that sets them swinging. That way we get the visually and hearing impaired at the same time.

:) B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just wonder how long before "private sector" sites are required to be accessible.

Here in Sweden, all public places from government to the local pub must be accessible for people with diabilities (wheelchair, blind, deaf etc) from year 2010. Politicians are good in taking back law-suggestions etc, but this one has not been taken back yet. ;) And above mentioned article says (even if its strangely written) it includes their websites too.

 

Only thing I wonder if this law includes their web sites is...

Take my site for example, its on a TCH-server in America. Doesnt it go under american law then? ;)

If so then all swedish websites can just move to another country and their problem is unfotunately solved. :(

 

Bill, prepare for a lot of new customers in 2010. :P

Edited by Jikrantz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's an interesting question, Thomas. I really don't know how that works. I mean, your site is "physically" located in the USA but you're the one who created it and you're a swedish citizen, so which one will apply? Does anyone know the answer to this one? I'm curious about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
By the way. I am all for making sites accessible, even my site though I am not sure how well a visually impared person would fare with a katana unless he is Zatoichi, but how do you enforce ths on a movie clip site or a site about an artists work?

Do you remember the TV show Kung Fu with David Carradine (no age comments, please!)? His "master" was blind. Made for good TV, but also opened the imagination to the possibilities. I used to train in darkness sometimes. After a while, kata became relatively easy... kumite was always challenging (I always tried to get a sparring partner in a white gi, but in my schools brown belts and above wore black gis so I usually had to fight a black gi) . I never used weapons in the dark, but some people did. Not as well as David Carradine's master, but it was apparent that with practice the other senses could be heightened and it could be done.

 

As for an artist's site, I don't know about accessible, but I've tried to make mine at least interesting for the visually impaired. I've noticed many blind or nearly blind people in art museums. They enjoy the textural experience of sculpture, of course. But I've also noticed that many have 'helpers' with them who describe the two dimensional works and, if knowledgeable, tell little stories about the artist or how the piece was created, etc. At the least, the helpers read them the info on the little signs hanging on the wall. If they were to visit my site, they would still need a helper to describe the images and read to them, but I've supplied captions in my slideshows that would enhance their experience (and do the same for sighted people, I hope). I've also offerred additional content on the site like quotes about the creative process, and a statement of how I do what I do that add to the experience of the art for all who have an appreciation, sighted or not. Art is an experience of someone else's creativity... it can be experienced with the eyes, but it can be experienced in other ways too. Sometimes our eyes limit the experience by placing too much emphasis on the subject or the composition and thus 'blinding' us (forgive the pun) to the artist's expression of feeling and display of skill and technique.

 

I don't know how to make my site accessible for a blind person, but I certainly hope that if one visits, he or she will feel welcome and have the best experience I can give them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No age comments? Heck, I'm only 23 and I remember "Kung Fu"! woooot

It's one of the TV shows that made me start studying martial arts Thumbs Up

Anyone who has seen it will surely remember it, no matter their age :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you remember the TV show Kung Fu with David Carradine
:)

Whats that :P

 

Seriously, all that art sites can do I think is to use the alt tags for decribing what the images are so a text to speech browser knows what to tell the visitor and maybe if finding a technically good solution, implement a voice describing the pages, like a tour/sightseeing guide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent suggestions, Thomas! I use the Alt Tags now for the image titles... but an oral "tour" would be a fantastic tool! I think sighted people would like it too because it could include description, comments, history, and stories by the artist which always add to the experience. I guess next I'll be on here asking TCH members for help with implementing something like this.

 

Kung Fu was an old TV show that was on in the 60's. It was set in the Old Wild West and featured a Chinese character who wandered the west and used his Kung Fu skills and philosophy to right the world's wrongs. The role was written for Bruce Lee, but the powers that be decided that American audiences weren't ready for a Chinese leading man, so they got David Carradine to do it and tried (unsucessfully) to make him look Chinese. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah ok.

Sorry, didnt mean to mention age stuff. I will have a look at that show since its on one of the channels here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually alt tags for images is a start but not nearly the limit for making accessible sites. there's the World Wide Web Consortium aural style sheet specification, which basically controls the aural markup of the page and there's CSS in general, which encourages design separation from content. In accessibilities case, it also discourages frames and table layouts which text readers have a hard time navigating.

 

So switch to a pure css layout if you haven't already! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...